This is the Judo blog of Lance Wicks. In this blog I cover mainly Judo and related topics. My Personal blog is over at where I cover more geeky topics. Please do leave comments on what you read or use the Contact Me form to send me an email with your thoughts and ideas.

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A summary of the weekend and first thoughts on the new BJA syllabus. 

Hi everyone, well I had a great(ish) weekend and I hope you all did too.
Saturday was Judo day, all day at HMS Collingwood and the night at the 40th Birthday party of Paul Jones.

I recorded quite a bit of the day at HMS Collingwood and some of it is posted via Qik at . Now I was showing primarily movement stuff as part of my University assignment work on fundamental Judo technical skills. I hope it comes out okay as it has to be in at the end of the week.

Derek (the other coach of the day) spent quite a bit of time going through the new BJA syllabus which I wanted to comment on.

So, what is the first technique for novice players? What would you choose?
The BJA has choosen Osoto‐otoshi, with Osoto‐otoshi to Kesa Gatame.
Now I need this explained to me, but are both these techniques not a dead end? These are the sorts of techniques that you go into and never change to anything else. And Osoto‐otoshi, dude why do we want to teach a bad O Soto Gari to novice players?
I really want this expained.

So, anyway, whats next...? De Ashi Barai!?
Now this one watching the session I almost believe in, sure the kids didn't get it to start with, but after 10-15 minutes they almost knew where to put there feet. Unlike say a taio or seoi which kids "get" in about 20 seconds?

Now, thats the start what about around green/blue belt?
Yoko-soto-kata-guruma and Kata‐hiza‐te‐ouchi‐gake‐ashi‐dori, you may be struggling to remember what those two are, for a start the names are way long! Also they are new "contest" techniques care of Roy Inman's new classifications. My issue here is why on earth would we want to teach contest variations to kyu grades?!

I am worried about the new syllabus, not least of all, because it seems to have been dumped on the membership and I am not convinced that the technique selection is right. More to the point, I worry that the implementation is what seems to be becoming BJA standard forcing it without consultation with those "in the trenches".

Not one of the people I study with on the EJU level 5 coaching course was consulted as far as I am aware. Which seems weird seeing as these are some of the top coaches in the country.

For example, the few full-time coaches I know that are working with kids already work outside of the syllabus, let alone this new syllabus which from my initial feedback from these people does not fit at all with what their experience tells them kids work with.

And hey, not only is the technical elements that are changing the structure and way players get there grades (competitive grades are out). And it was all dropped in on April 1st, without a single coach being able to look at it before hand I understand. So not only a BIG/HUGE change but now lead in time or gradual implementation.

Increasingly I sense a feeling of frustration from coaches that the BJA is not in touch with what they want, with what they do, with what they need. The UKCC, the grading syllabus, the expensive insurance and expensive mats. More and more examples of the BJA not being an asset to coaches/clubs rather a bother or an expensive alternative.

Not good at a time when the BJA needs more support as London 2012 is just around the corner. I struggle to see how the BJA will be able to ask more of the membership to help prepare for 2012, when the membership is reaching it's limit of patience with the BJA.

Any way, check out the new BJA syllabus here: ... us_002.pdf and let me know what you think.


P.s. the new BJA Beijing site sux!

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Live Streamed coaching session. 

Hi everyone,
this Saturday (26 April 2008), I shall be coaching some Judo at HMS Collingwood in Portsmouth.
I shall be coaching between 10am and... well some time.

I shall also be trying something a little different, I am going to try streaming at least some of the sessions from my mobile, just to see how it goes. So below is the video window, which will eventually have the feed. (untill it does here is a look at the entrance to the Sports Training Village at University of Bath)

If you do watch it please let me know what you think.


You should also be ablew to find it at

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66 Days to the World Masters... 

... and I am injured again.

Hi all,
well it's been a while since I blogged over here, sorry, but after two weeks of solid blogging you were sick of me right.

Anyway, training-wise, I went along to Paul Jones' place on Monday which was enjoyable. I had a randori with Paul, which was a bit of fun. Solid bugger! Hard grip fighter and we had some fun scrapping.

Thursday night I went along to Gosport Judokwai, formerly Gosport Judo Club.
This weekend a the club is heading across the channel to visit Royan Judo Club in France, so a quiet night was expected and delivered. Of course a "quiet night" in Gosport means 20 people including 8 Dan grades.
As always a good session.
Just after the warmup we did some really interesting movement exercises, running to and around your partner; who stands on the other side of the mat, you run around them and then they follow you and run around you. There were lots of variations, really interesting as it was good both in terms of running around and getting a bit of a workout and also agility/movement development.

I have asked Peter Powell to act as coach for the trip to the masters. And he is coaching me at the club, which is great. I have commented elsewhere that one of the issues with being a dan grade is that sometimes you cease to get coached. Pete is now spending most of the evenings slagging of my lack of fitness, my poor technique and bad attitude! It's a bit of a shock to be "coached" again, I'm already looking forward to next week now!

The downside is a certain young man who will be getting "the bash" next week stomped on my foot. ;-) Now it hurt a bit at the time, but was okay moments later, and was still ok when I got home and ate etc.
However, when I got up this morning my foot told me in no uncertain terms it was not happy. Sharp pain if I put weight on it. Now, there is nothing wrong (I think) with my foot, it is I think just bruising around the meta-tarsal bones. But it does hurt enough to make me limp and that aggravated my opposite knee (with the damage).

Again, I suppose this is the downside to being in the "masters". The ol' body does not handle the knocks quite as well as it used to.

66 days to the World Masters, and the plans although paused slightly are back on track. I have to put my entry in for a preparation event this week. That event is the High Wycombe Masters, which is pretty big.

Anyway, so I'm back and back in training. I have rejoined a gym as I am supposed to be in a strength phase... in theory. I hope it all goes well

Anyway... it's Friday night, so I should relax and stop typing.

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University of Bath, Bsc. EJU Level 5 - Block 1, Day 9.  

Hi all, just a quick post to basically ensure that I keep my record of posting everyday in tact.

Today, again, we only had two lectures which is a shame, but at least they were two good lectures. The first was Andrew Moshanov on Effective Research Strategies, the second Katrina McDonald on Literature Review.

Both lectures were really useful for our research projects.
Andrew's really had some great stuff for my research and Katrina's was great help for our literature reviews.

After which we had.... nothing, just plain old nothing.
Bit of a shame really, that is two days in a row where the afternoon has been wasted. It is good time for getting into the databases looking for research papers, but I'd rather be in lectures while I am here. Seems a shame to pay all this money and commit all this time, just to spend it on the web. I can do that from home!

Weird, in the first block of the first year of the FdSc, I am sure I whinged the other way, about how intens ethe lecture load was. Now I am complaining it's too light! One thing that has not changed is the insanely short timeframes for getting assignments in. We have 6500 words and three videos to get in byt May 16th. The first due on the 11th of April. The big worry is not getting it in on time, rather getting something you are proud of in on time.

This evening we had our traditional end of block night out. This time we have a reception with The Right Worshipful The Mayor of Bath, Councillor Mrs Sharon Ball. We got to sit in the council chambers and meet her in person and got some stories about Bath also.
Afterwards, we all headed into town for food, drinks and general fun. Blowing off steam after two weeks of having our brains crushed with information.

Here's my tip for the day, skip the mayor visit and go straight to a night out if you are in Bath. It was very impressive and quite an honour I am sure to meet the mayor. But to be frank... not the highlight of my two weeks here, far from it. I think a nice informal dinner together would have been much better fun.

Of course then i would not have learned (twice) about some of the history of Bath, or gotten to handle things like the offical "Master of Ceremonies" medal, valued at something in the range of 30,000 pounds. Or heard the lovely ladies insult the French (in front of Patrick), the Germans (in front of Jurgen) and the Spanish (in front of Carlos). There was crack about AUstralians, which I will assume was ained at me, but the got my accent wrong. ;-)

Afterwards, we visited some nightspots and relaxed, very good fun and I feel better for it. As you may have picked up from yesterdays post, I miss my family and am looking forward to getting home! I can't wait to see my wife and kids and have some serious cuddles on the couch!

Tomorrow is the pack up and get out routine, so I doubt I'll have much to report. In fact I suspect I might have a little break from the blog till perhaps my assignments are done. So untill next time... goodnight!

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University of Bath, Bsc. EJU Level 5 - Block 1, Day 8.  

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday my twins.... Happy Birthday to you!
(It is my twins birthday today)

So here I am sitting in my room, blogging when I should be at home with my whanau (family). There is a definite part of me that will be very pleased when I run out of courses to do at Bath. I missed my kids a lot today especially in the early evening after calling home. :(

Anyway... I was rescued by a nice evening with some of my fellow students. It pulled me up from a bit of a down mood.I am a Judo person, being with Judo people cheers me up. I wonder if all sports are like this, I presume Judo is not unique in that I can sit with a group of Judoka and feel immediately comfortable. The camaraderie of Judo is something I suspect is not common in the "real world".

I did, I think, last year describe the Judo world as a "Whanau". Which as the Wikipedia put is is the New Zealand/Maori word for "extended family". even in my first year here at University of Bath, in my first block, in my first days, felt comfortable with peole on the course in ways that most people feel only in their immediate family. If only we could market the feeling you get around Judoka, then Judo would be huge!!

Anyway... enough waxing lyrical about such airy things, down to the nitty gritty of the course here at Bath.

Today... well today was pretty light and pretty darn good.
We only had two formal lectures this morning and the afternoon was dedicated to "Self Study" and "Tutorials". Which means basically all afternoon for me was spent dredging the internet looking for journal articles relating to my research project. WHich was actually quite productive, I have a good number (100+) of articles in my "to review" folder, which I will scan and narrow down to maybe 70 articles and will hopefully use about 50 of them in the literature review I need to have done by the 16th of April. (not long!)

Our two lectures this morning were a relaxed session with Patrick Roux about our assessment assignments for him. We have to produce three videos and a booklet of Judo fundamental technical skills which are due on the 2nd of May. I to be honest have not even really considered how to put this together as I am really focussed on the literature review and the finance paper. So it was good to get a clearer view of what is expected from us for that assignment.

Afterwards, Bob Willingham gave a keynote lecture about his work producing his PHD thesis and book "The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat". As you can imagine (if you know Bob from his formar role as IJF photographer), the book and his lecture were packed solid with amazing photos of Judoka. The book and his PHD was produced by Bob interviewing medalists from the Athens Olympic games about their experience in the event.

The lecture was full of amazing anecdotes he gained both from doing the interviews and from the interviews themselves. The book and his lecture are a real insight into the Olympic level athlete, something not many of us will ever get to experience firsthand unfortunately.

Bob has recently stopped publishing "The World Of Judo" magazine and ceased to be the official photographer of the IJF. Bob has also agreed (prior to today) to come on (or ) and talk about the amazing things he has seeen and photographed in the Judo world. So as soon as I can get organised to to that with Bob, I shall let you all know.

Tomorrow (Thursday), we have lectures from Katrina McDonald and Andrew Moshanov, which should be good and more time to work on our research and other assignments. In the evening we, I believe, are supposed to meeting the mayor of Bath at a formal "do". not sure if I'll attend, I'm a jeans and tee-shirt kind of person afterall, we shall see. I am not sure how many peopple have the appropriate atire for the occasion and I don't think any of us are entirely sure what one wears to meet the mayor?!?!

So all in all a good productive day, Bob;s lecture would have to be the highlight of the day. That said, getting stuck into finding journal articles around my research topic was disturbingly rewarding. The downer, I guess is being away from home on my kid's birthday. :( But saved partially by the great people here.

Okay, last and definitely not least, if you get five minutes check out you have probably heard about "Camberley" if you live in the UK or are in the Commonwealth in particular. It is one of those places that is international renown and I have been remiss in not mentioning it. I perhaps get blinded by University of Bath's amazing programme and foget to mention places like Camebrley and of course Edinburgh here (and of course Wolverhampton). Anyway, I feel better now having linked to Camberleys website.

Till tomorrow (only 2 days to go of this block),

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